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If You’re Gonna Dig the Trenches


Motorola has a number of announcements out at The Cable Show, but most of them are fairly technical and may cause glazing-over-of-the-eyes if you’re not specifically a cable operator or engineer. There’s one release in particular, however, that’s worth explaining. Motorola is introducing a new solution called Cable PON (Passive Optical Network). The idea with Cable PON is to give cable operators an opportunity to build out fiber without forsaking their investments in existing Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) networks.

Here’s how it works. When new home developments are built, cable operators must dig trenches to reach these new customers with their networks. Since they’re going to the expense of digging new trenches, they might as well lay fiber as an investment toward future bandwidth needs. However, until now, operating that fiber meant managing entirely new equipment and system operations.

Cable PON works by causing new fiber connections to emulate a traditional coaxial network. This lets operators continue to use existing set-tops and DOCSIS headend equipment that’s already in place for nearby HFC locations.

Why it’s good for consumers:

  • Cable operators have an incentive to lay fiber now.
  • With fiber in the ground, it’s relatively easy to increase broadband speeds at a later date.

Why it’s good for cable operators:

  • Operators can start adding new fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) connections in the most cost-efficient way possible.
  • Even without fully utilizing new FTTP connections, operators can still get the benefits of increased reliability and reduced maintenance costs with fiber.

Okay, your eyes are probably still glazing over, but maybe some of the information will make sense after a little percolating. Cable PON is just one approach for cable operators looking to meet future demands for ever-more bandwidth. Also check out today’s announcement with Vyyo. The testing with Motorola equipment produced speeds exceeding 145 Mbps.

3 Responses

  1. […] is sponsoring a CED webcast going on right now on Cable PON. Lots of juicy tidbits. Worth checking out the full content when you get a chance. Meantime, the […]

  2. […] in highly competitive regions are surely top priority, but with new solutions like Motorola’s Cable PON, even areas that are not highly competitive yet may be in the queue for fiber to the home […]

  3. […] RFOG, or RF Over Glass. In brief, RFOG is a category term for technology that lets cable operators use traditional back-office cable equipment with new fiber-to-the-home deployments. In greenfield situations, even cable operators want to put fiber in the ground, but they’d […]

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